- The Washington Times - Tuesday, July 9, 2019

The number of illegal immigrants nabbed at the U.S.-Mexico border dropped 28% in June, authorities announced Tuesday, saying the slower pace gives Homeland Security a chance to improve conditions.

The 104,344 people encountered at ports of entry or caught sneaking in between the ports is still more than twice the rate of a year ago, when nearly 43,000 unauthorized migrants were nabbed.

But it’s a steep improvement from May, when a stunning 144,278 people were caught.

Officials reported a particular drop in illegal migration from Guatemala.

Homeland Security credited a number of factors, including better cooperation with Central American governments and the deal Mexico struck last month to stop more of the migrants crossing its territory en route to the U.S.

“Since the administration reached a new agreement with Mexico, we’ve seen a substantial increase in the number of interdictions on the Mexican southern border,” Homeland Security said in a statement.

Still, the department said the border crisis is not over.

At 100,000 people a month, the country is on track for about 1 million illegal immigrants caught this year.

That would be the highest since 2006 — and the numbers this year are more troubling because unlike 2006, when most migrants were single adults from Mexico who were easy to return, this population is mostly children and families from Central America.

Thanks to relaxed U.S. laws and policies, they are much tougher to oust. Of the families that arrived illegally in 2017, 95% are still in the U.S., Homeland Security says.

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